February 6th, 2021


Vegan Probiotic Food

This article about vegan probiotic food made me laugh.

What's wrong with that phrase?

The whole point to veganism is to avoid eating animals or anything made by or from animals.

Probiotic foods are made of animals.  A live culture of teeming, tiny animals feed on the raw food and partially digest it, making it more nutritious for humans.  These little critters include symbiotes beneficial to a healthy microbiome.  (The human body is not actually a single organism, but rather a communal body more like a walking ecosystem.  Try not to be a vengeful god to your symbiotes.)  So probiotic foods are live foods.  They're good for you. But because they are full of happy little animals, I would never call them VEGAN.

This is likely another example of humanocentrism, which is why a lot of people will eat fish or even chicken but not mammal flesh.  Yet vegans often get all high and mighty about how they don't eat animals.  Folks, if you're eating probiotics, you're eating swarms of animals -- they're just too small to see easily.  If the idea of eating animals is gross or sad to you, skip the probiotics.

Me, I love the stuff because  it is live food.  I have further discovered that the more different cultures, the better.  Brown Cow yogurt, which has 5 cultures, does a much better job than most brands which only have 1-2.

Community Building Tip: Neighbors

For my current set of tips, I'm using the list "101 Small Ways You Can Improve Your City.

59. Get to know your neighbors. "We bring the trash cans out every Monday for our 85-year old neighbor and keep an eye out for him generally. We swap our lemons for another neighbor's superior kale. My husband bartered with our house painter neighbor: he designed the painter's website and the painter painted our house! We are on a first-name basis with all the store owners in our little 'downtown,' from bakery to bookstore. Our neighborhood has a Yahoo group—so old school—and through it I've found my daughter's preschool, a new dog walker, numerous babysitters and first learned about the hood's fabulous 4th of July parade. A neighborhood feels pretty special when we know we're all looking out for each other." — Allison Arieff, editorial director, SPUR

Blackberry Jam Fruit

This tropical fruit has a hard yellow shell surrounding a dark, jam-like pulp.  :D  I am particularly intrigued by things that are edible and tasty, but not eaten much.  I can't help but imagine it was a huge favorite with indigenous people, because sweet things used to be so hard to find.  That stuff sounds like it would have been great on corn cakes or tortillas.


It's snowing tonight, a flurry of very glittery flakes -- oddly, some tiny and others quite large.  More often snowflakes are similar in size per snowfall.

There are mouse tracks on the patio, a little loop going around, presumably looking for shelter and failing to find any.  Quite fresh, I can see the tiny toes and all.